UPDATED Lockdown in Kirkland - Armed man assaults Metro driver, Police search library and hotel (photos + video)

Police search for an armed man causes the downtown library and local hotel to lockdown, patrons evacuate

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UPDATED Sept 13 The Kirkland Police Department has released the following press release regarding the lock own incident on September 11th:

Armed suspect flees after punching bus driver.

On September 11th, 2010 at 1231 hours Kirkland Officer’s were dispatched to a report of a King County Metro bus driver having been punched in the 500 BLK of Central Avenue. Officers were directed to the area of the QFC store located in Park Place Center where witnesses reported the adult male suspect had fled to. The suspect was observed by a Kirkland officer. When ordered to stop the subject turned toward the officer. The officer observed the subject was armed with a handgun. The suspect backed away and disappeared amongst nearby buildings. The suspect was last seen entering the lobby of a hotel located in the vicinity. Officers searched the interior. With video provided by management it was determined the suspect had fled out another area of the building. Attempts to locate the male were unsuccessful. Investigation continues in an attempt to identify the subject. The male appeared to be in his mid twenties, about 5’-10” to 6’-00” tall with a slim build and scruffy facial hair.

Shortly after 1:00pm Saturday afternoon, an armed man was reported to have assaulted a Metro bus driver in downtown Kirkland. The suspect was described as "scruffy" and carrying a handgun by eyewitnesses in Peter Kirk Park. Soon after, the suspect was sighted entering into the Heathman Hotel on Kirkland Avenue. He sat down in the lobby and then disappeared somewhere inside the building. The hotel and the library were immediately ordered to lockdown, clearing the way for police to search the buildings.

Library patrons as well as hotel guests were seen standing outside on the sidewalk for over an hour, waiting for police to allow them to re-enter the buildings.

The suspect left behind a backpack filled with an odd assortment of items including a large rope, a wood stake, a large bolt and and nuts and a water bottle.

Kirkland Police arrived on the scene, surrounded the buildings and started searching the hotel and library. A K-9 unit entered the hotel at approximately 2:10 pm. Review of closed circuit cameras tracked the man as he moved through the lower levels of the hotel and it is believed he exited the building in the alley, heading the west toward Main Street. The suspect never entered the guest floors of the building. As of this writing, the suspect is still at large.

A description of the suspect will be forthcoming from the KPD.

To view other events of the day, please visit: Views of Kirkland - September 11, 2010 and Kirkland Remembers 9/11 with a 2,977 flag memorial in Peter Kirk Park (video)